There is little to suggest to the first-time visitor that the world class luxury rainforest retreat at the end of Upper Crystal Creek road used to be a run-down banana plantation, but that is the history of this lovely place. And it is a place for couples only, which is a welcome benefit for those who want absolute privacy and to be able to sit out on the balcony and hear nothing but whip birds and wind through the rainforest canopy.

Our ‘Tamborine’ lodge was the epitome of luxury with design highlights being the extensive use of glass walls, floor-to-ceiling windows and chunky wooden furniture pieces throughout. Whilst the two-person spa bath could have been a little more generous in proportions (or we could have been a little thinner, I suppose), the overall impression was that the choice of fittings and appliances has been thought through properly.

On the ‘quirky-but-luxurious’ list was the combined toilet-bidet with the wall-mounted control panel providing hours of fun exploring all the possible settings…

The property itself sits on the side of one of the walls of the crater formed by the erosion of the Tweed Shield volcano, of which Mount Warning is the obvious remnant. It is a place where a stick placed in the ground will grow, such is the quality of the soil and the rainfall rate. The property is managed through a mutual conservation agreement between the owners and conservation authorities, permitting all the rainforest walks and associated activities to be undertaken with proper conservation approaches ensured, which is the reason for its existence in the first place.

Self-cater your food to the extent practical, as the option of buying in breakfast and dinner packages can become expensive (however you won’t go hungry if you do).

The activity options available are totally weather-dependent, but if it is not raining, the walks in the rainforest are not to be missed, followed by a dip in the rockpools and lay in the hammocks strung over the creek. The rocks in the creek bed played havoc on our urban girl and urban boy bare feet, so take some thongs or similar if you intend to go swimming. Take heed of the guidelines about protection against leeches. Enough said…

Overall, the retreat is not for the budget-conscious, the clock-watcher or those who cannot live without their mobile phone and the more time you spend listening to the birds in the trees and absorbing the ambience of the rainforest, the healthier you will feel after a stay here. Highly recommended!

5 stars on TripAdvisor
David M(Tamborine Lodge, a Luxury Mountain View Lodge)Greater Newcastle NSW